US Air Force B-52 Stratofortress bombers flew a training mission over the South China Sea, according to the US military.
According to a statement from US Pacific Air Forces, which oversees air operations in the region, the bombers took off from Andersen Air Force Base on the island of Guam. The flight also involved additional training with F-15 Strike Eagle jets in the vicinity of Okinawa, Japan. The training mission was part of the US Air Force’s routine “Continuous Bomber Presence” in the region.
The US has expressed concerns about China’s efforts to militarize the region via the construction of military facilities on some of these man made islands.
Speaking at the same Armed Services Committee hearing, Republican Sen. James Inhofe said China is “creating islands out there, all of them being singularly for military purposes.”
“China has long claimed the South China Sea as their own,” he said. “It is my belief that they intend to establish the military structure that will help them control the air and sea lanes through that region of the world.”
Image Credit: US Air Force.